How to Start a Brand Ambassador Program in 2024

Let’s begin with a question. When you think about the promotion of your brand, what do you find most efficient? Is it targeted advertising, reaching a specific audience through online campaigns? Social media marketing? Or perhaps a complex marketing funnel designed to guide potential customers through every stage of the buying journey? All good! And yet… 

While these strategies can certainly be effective, there’s another powerful tool that often gets overlooked: a brand ambassador program. These programs tap into the most effective marketing force of all – genuine connections and authentic voices. 

However, a brand ambassador program often raises many questions. What should a successful ambassador program look like? Do you need global ambassadors? What referral software do you need? One word – overwhelming! But don’t worry, we’ll cover all those questions in this guide! Are you ready to turn your biggest fans into your most powerful marketing asset?

Why Does Your Brand Need Brand Ambassadors? 

So, why would you need brand ambassadors in the first place? There are many reasons, but these are arguably the most important ones: 

  • Brand ambassador programs bring in customers with a 16% higher lifetime value than customers from other channels. 
  • 52% of brands are already running ambassador programs.
  • You don’t need to work with celebrities or influencers to have a successful brand ambassador program! In fact, 69% of brands work with smaller creators.

A brand ambassador is basically an enthusiastic advocate who genuinely loves your brand and wants to share it with the world. Often, the best ambassadors are your existing customers! After all, who can spread the word about your brand better than people who already know and love it?

Brand ambassadors aren’t just walking advertisements. Since they already have an audience (no matter how small or big), they can share how good your brand is with other people. This translates into powerful benefits:

⭐ Increased brand awareness: Ambassadors spread the word about your brand to their networks, expanding your organic reach. Usually, they don’t need to convince anyone – their audience already trusts them. 

⭐ Enhanced credibility: People trust recommendations from real people more than traditional advertising.

⭐ Boosted social proof: Positive word-of-mouth from ambassadors builds trust and encourages others to try your brand.

⭐ Valuable customer insights: Ambassadors provide honest feedback about your products and brand, helping you improve as well as make your relationships more fruitful.

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Overall, brand ambassadors can give you a great boost in terms of reach. Even if an ambassador’s audience isn’t massive, they still hold significant potential to grow your market share. 

How Can Brand Ambassadors Promote Your Brand?

The strategy of your brand ambassador program will depend on your business goals. But in general, your brand ambassadors can contribute to your bottom-line by doing the following: 

🔥 Creating exclusive content for your brand. This could be recipe tutorials if you have a kitchenware brand or workout routines if you’re an athletic apparel brand.

🔥 Helping you organize contests or giveaways to open your brand up to new audiences. 

🔥 Sharing your customer stories to build trust and social proof.

🔥 Offering referral discounts or codes to incentivize their audience to try your products.

🔥 Participating in live streams or Q&A sessions to connect with your brand’s audience in real-time.

🔥 Designing or co-creating limited edition products to generate buzz and exclusivity.

🔥 Testing your products authentically and posting this on SM or their blogs (the most common option!)

🔥 Representing your brand at offline events, such as trade shows. 

How to Identify Your Perfect Brand Ambassador and Recruit Them 

The key to a successful ambassador program is finding the right people. Simple, huh? Unfortunately not but we break down how best to identify the right people for your business. Here’s the thing: there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The perfect brand ambassador for a luxury watch company will look vastly different from the ideal fit for a line of eco-friendly cleaning products. The key lies in understanding your brand’s unique identity, target audience, and ambassador program goals. 

Firstly, you have to understand who you need. Are you looking for college students or beauty bloggers? Gamers or athletes? Successful ambassador marketing programs require interested creators to go through an application and approval process. This excludes anyone who isn’t a good match. You don’t want to have ambassadors promoting your brand if they are not (in some way at least) inherent to the same values as your brand. 

Now, let’s walk through the exact six steps to identify and recruit the perfect brand ambassadors who will resonate with your audience and amplify your brand message. So, how exactly do you find people who will make any of your brand ambassador programs work? 

Define Your Perfect Ambassador Persona in 6 Steps

Right, to create successful ambassador programs, you have to identify a profile of your ideal ambassador. What exactly should you look at? Here’s our breakdown:

6 steps to defining your perfect brand ambassador marketing infographic referral factory

Your Product/Service Usage

Look for ambassadors who have used your products and services for a reasonable amount of time. They must have a genuine understanding of the product’s benefits and can speak to their experience authentically.

👉Considerations: Set a minimum timeframe for product usage. This timeframe will vary depending on your product type. For example, a clothing brand might require a shorter trial period than a complex SaaS company.

Marketing Channels

Identify ambassadors who are active on the same social media platforms or channels where your target audience spends most of their time. 

👉Considerations: Analyze your potential ambassadors’ posting habits. Do they regularly interact with their audience? What kind of content do they typically create?

Followers & Engagement

While a large following is attractive, a highly engaged smaller audience can be more valuable. The best brand ambassador programs often rely on small personal networks without tapping into a wider audience. 

👉Considerations: Look for a strong engagement rate (likes, comments, shares) compared to just follower count. This indicates a more loyal and receptive audience.

Alignment of Their Personal Brand With Yours

Choose ambassadors whose values and personalities resonate with your brand identity. Their content and online persona should reflect a similar style and message. Of course, sometimes, it is good to try to penetrate an entirely new market with a brand ambassador from a completely different niche. Still, it can be risky and might require a great deal of creative ideas from you. So, if you’re creating your very first ambassador program, it is better to start with your own niche. 

👉Considerations: Evaluate their past content and social media interactions. Do they align with the image you want to project?

Previous Collaborations

Look for your potential ambassadors’ experience with brand partnerships. See what kind of content they created for their past collaborations. This can give you an idea of their creativity and approach. On the other hand, if they don’t have any similar experience yet, don’t dismiss them right away. They could bring a fresh perspective that benefits your brand. Besides, check whether your content creator has partnered with any of your competitors. 

👉Considerations: Does their past content showcase storytelling and brand integration abilities? Look for the most organic integrations. 

Reporting and Analytics

Any type of influencer marketing is useless without proper reporting. So, make sure you choose ambassadors who understand the importance of tracking results. They should be comfortable providing data on the reach and engagement of their brand-related content.

👉Considerations: Discuss your preferred reporting methods and the data you find valuable (e.g., reach, impressions, click-through rates). For your convenience, consider using referral tracking software

Ambassador Relationships With Your Brand: 101 

The first step of your ambassador collaboration is recruitment. You can look for your candidates by yourself on SM (a so-called “manual” approach) or through your community (aka a customer ambassador program). Quite often, potential ambassadors just reply to your post where you mention recruiting brand ambassadors. 

However, as with any relationship, ambassador relationships have to be nourished. So, how can you keep your relationship flourishing? How can you encourage your brand loyalty? Here are some things to consider: 

Onboarding 101

Even your biggest fans need a heads-up! Whether it’s a one-on-one chat, a series of emails, or even a fun online workshop, brief your ambassadors on all the details of the program before they start promoting your brand.

Always Open for Business

Make it easy for your ambassadors to reach you. Set up a system for questions and suggestions, and respond promptly. This shows you value their input and keeps the communication flowing. You can keep all the communications in messengers – it will make the whole process smoother. Besides, you can consider a chatbot at the beginning of your communication.

Don’t Be a Control Freak

Treat your brand advocates as social media influencers with a vision. The beauty of brand ambassadors is their unique voice. While you have brand guidelines, encourage ambassadors to promote your brand authentically, in their own style. This genuine connection will resonate most with their audience.

Make Feedback a Two-Way Street 

Your ambassadors are part of your target market – they get it! Use their feedback to refine your campaigns and connect better with your audience. They can even test new products and provide valuable insights before you launch. But remember, feedback goes both ways! Offer constructive suggestions to help them promote your brand even more effectively.

Keep Moving

As your brand, ambassadors, and audience grow, so should your brand ambassador program. Use the data you collect to see what resonates best and attracts more new customers. Then, tweak your program to maximize those strengths and keep your brand ambassador team thriving!

How to Know if You Need a Brand Ambassador Program? 

Let’s be honest: not every single brand is ready to run a brand ambassador program. While the potential benefits are undeniable, it’s crucial to assess whether your business is in a position to effectively use this strategy. Here are some key factors to consider:

CriteriaReadyNot Quite Ready
Confidence in Products/ServicesHigh quality, strong brand reputationNew or unproven brand, unresolved quality issues
Customer BaseHappy and loyal customers who have already spread the word about your productsLimited customer base, negative customer sentiment
Marketing ResourcesAllocated budget to create strong marketing campaignsLimited marketing budget
Social Media PresenceActive on platforms used by your audienceNo social media presence or not active on relevant platforms
Brand IdentityClear brand values and target audienceUnclear brand identity or audience

All the following features are great indicators that your business can use a brand ambassador program to its fullest potential:

You already have a loyal following: The best ambassadors are already using and loving your products. They’re excited to share their experiences with their audience. But before diving in, make sure your products are top-notch. At the end of the day, happy customers are your best advertisement, and some might already be promoting you organically! Consider these loyal fans as prime candidates for your ambassador program.

Your business is not a new kid on the block. If you want to encourage social media ambassadors to participate in your program, your brand messaging has to be well-established. Besides, customers’ personal experiences with young brands are usually not profound enough to ensure they can create strong brand exposure. So, if you just started, focus on growing and move to ambassador engagement later on. 

You have a strong marketing foundation: An ambassador program isn’t a magic bullet. It complements your existing marketing strategy. Ambassadors can create great content and promotions, but they need something to work with. So, make sure you have a variety of marketing tactics that are generating awareness for your brand.

Super competitive industry: Yes, you definitely should go for a brand ambassador in a packed market. Partnering with industry experts or influencers can give you that edge. Ambassadors bring a unique perspective, making your product shine. You can try hosting unique brand events to incentivize the creation of user-generated content (UGC). 

You are selling physical products: Brand ambassadors are a natural fit for products you can see and touch, like clothes, tools, or homeware. There are exceptions, though! Software company, Notion, for example has an ambassador program focused on education and sharing, proving brand ambassadors can be valuable in unexpected ways.

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4 Types of Ambassador Programs You Can Implement [With Real-Life Examples]

Let’s finally take a look at the brand ambassador program examples and how different types of them can convey your brand’s mission. 

Apparel Ambassadors 

An apparel ambassador program is a specific type of brand ambassador program focused on promoting clothing and fashion brands. Here’s a breakdown of what it entails:

🎯 Focus: Clothing and fashion brands

📈 Goals:

  • Increase brand awareness and visibility within the fashion industry and the audience.
  • Drive sales and promote new clothing lines or collections.
  • Generate excitement and positive buzz around the brand.
  • Create user-generated content showcasing how real people wear the brand’s clothing.
  • Build customer loyalty by leveraging trusted voices within the fashion community.

📢 Activities

Apparel ambassadors might create SM content featuring themselves wearing the brand’s clothing. This could include photos, videos, stories, or even live streams.

They might attend exclusive events or brand launches, representing the brand and interacting with potential customers. 

Some ambassadors might be given exclusive access to new collections and allowed to share sneak peeks with their followers. They might collaborate with the brand on designing limited edition clothing lines or collections.

🌟 Example

There are many brands for fitness enthusiasts. Let’s take a look at one of them. Four Athletics is one of the top fitness apparel ambassador programs out there. This wholesale company offers an array of benefits in its brand ambassador programs.

four athletics brand ambassador program example fitness apparel referral factory

Affiliate Brand Ambassador Program

Affiliate brand ambassador programs combine elements of traditional brand ambassadorships with affiliate marketing, creating a win-win situation for both brands and influencers. Here’s a breakdown:

🎯 Focus: Promoting products or services through a trackable affiliate link or code.

📈 Goals:

  • Increase brand awareness and reach new audiences.
  • Drive sales and conversions through targeted affiliate marketing.
  • Build a network of influencers who organically promote the brand.

📢 Activities

Ambassadors create engaging content (photos, videos, blogs, social media posts, etc.) featuring the brand’s products and including their affiliate link/code.

🌟 Example

Glossier is a popular brand for skincare and makeup. They keep things simple and focus on bringing out natural beauty. 

Here’s how their ambassador program works: Glossier gives their reps special codes that they can share with their friends and followers. When someone uses these codes to buy Glossier stuff, the rep earns a little something, too. This influencer marketing strategy works because reps are supposed to share their own experiences with Glossier and give honest opinions. This campaign is mainly targeted towards young professional women in the beauty industry. 

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Customer Ambassador Programs

Customer ambassador programs tap into the potential of your most enthusiastic customers, transforming them into vocal advocates for your brand.

🎯 Focus: Leveraging existing happy and loyal customers to organically promote the brand.

📈 Goals

  • Increased brand awareness.
  • Boost sales through word of mouth. 
  • Get honest customer feedback. 

📢 Activities: Reward customers for referring friends and family with discounts, exclusive offers, or loyalty points. Create online forums or communities where customer ambassadors can connect, share experiences, and provide valuable feedback.

🌟 Example: Harley Davidson is very customer-oriented in its brand ambassador program. The Harley Owners Group (HOG) is a community with around 325,000 members all over the world. Being part of HOG is all about feeling free, having fun, and being a part of something greater. 

Members of HOG get to do cool stuff, like going to special rallies and riding together in groups. They also get some nice perks, like discounts on insurance and being able to buy limited-edition products.

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Global/Store Ambassadors Programs

While global and store campaigns have a similar goal, these are two polar opposite brand ambassador program examples. The global one takes the concept of brand advocacy and expands it to reach a worldwide audience. At the same time, store ambassadors work on a smaller scale, mainly in order to build brand awareness in local communities. 

🎯 Focus:  Promoting a brand and its products or services on a global scale, as well as honing its local loyal community.

📈 Goals

  • Reach new markets and establish the brand as a leading player on the global stage.
  • Foster positive brand associations and emotional connections with international audiences.
  • Ensure brand messaging resonates with diverse cultural contexts.

📢 Activities: Both global and local SM campaigns and content adaptation. Collaborations with international celebrities, influencers, or organizations that enhance brand recognition in specific markets.

🌟 Example: Lululemon is a Canadian yoga wear company. Ambassadors for Lululemon are amazing athletes, yogis, trainers, and creators who are making a big impact worldwide with their training. They use Lululemon’s products when they train or compete, but they’re not paid to do that. Instead, Lululemon supports them by giving free products and whatever else they need to train. 

Ambassadors for Lululemon are there to help the brand connect with local communities all over the world. They also give valuable feedback to Lululemon so they can keep improving and coming up with new ideas. Ambassadors host classes at Lululemon stores and other community locations while showcasing brand products.

Lululemon affiliates and creators program example global brand ambassador program

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Brand Ambassador Programs

After checking some of the successful brand ambassador program examples, we are finally here – ready to create your own ambassador program. It is time to go through the map, which will help you create a foundation for powerful word-of-mouth marketing. So, what should you do? 

Step 1: Outline Your Objectives

Before diving headfirst into how to recruit brand ambassadors, take a moment to map out some clear goals for your program. This helps you set expectations for both you and your new ambassadors, making it easier to track progress and measure success.

Step 2: Create an Ambassador Persona

In other words, find your perfect representative. Think of your ideal ambassador as your brand’s spokesperson. Who are the people who embody your brand values and resonate with your brand’s target audience? Look for creators with established social media accounts, a genuine passion for your products, and a positive, engaging personality. 

Step 3: Reach Out and Connect

Use social media channels or email marketing to reach out to potential ambassadors. Highlight the benefits of joining your program, showcasing why it’s a win-win situation for both them and your brand.

Step 4: Provide Guidelines 

Speaking your brand language requires some time and training. That’s why the best brand ambassador programs start with onboarding. Ensure you provide useful resources to your ambassadors, like brand guidelines, expectations, references, and maybe even content ideas to start things up. 

Step 5: Create a Proper Reward System

Even though your initial contact with a brand ambassador might be based on a person’s desire to represent your brand genuinely, it is vital to create a reward system for every ambassador campaign. There is a vast variety of options: discount codes, cash (most popular), free products, etc. But you can do even more. For example: 

  • Give your ambassadors exclusive access to new products, behind-the-scenes content, or sneak peeks at upcoming promotions.
  • Host events (online or in-person) for your ambassadors to connect, share ideas, and build relationships. This also can create a precious bond within your ambassador community. 
  • Showcase success stories of your top-performing ambassadors, letting others see the value of being part of your program. That could be a great case study for your own marketing channels. 
  • You can even incentivize your brand ambassadors’ audience by providing them with discounts or coupon codes to give out to their community! This is a great way to drive their success and yours. 

Step 6: Measure, Always

Success, if you think about it, is measurable. Use tools to track the reach, engagement and, most importantly, conversions generated by your ambassadors’ content. This data will help you refine your program and ensure it’s delivering the desired results. And keep in mind – what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.

6 Steps to Creating a Successful Brand Ambassador Program marketing infographic

How to Track Your Brand Ambassador Program With Referral Factory 

There is one more thing you need to create the best brand ambassador programs. What is that? Right – you need proper tracking software. The top-notch brand ambassador tools let you monitor the awareness and leads your ambassadors generate by providing each of them with a unique link to your website. 

With Referral Factory, you can create several campaigns and track each of them separately. In addition, every ambassador can also track their own results and payouts in a user-friendly dashboard.

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Each campaign is easy to analyze and edit (if needed). You can check a variety of metrics from total reach to conversions.

brand ambassador program tracking analytics example

A brand ambassador program aims to recruit your most passionate supporters who share your brand’s values and leverage their influence and reach to achieve the best marketing outcomes. Using brand ambassador software can assist in efficiently managing and expanding your program. Thus, you can maximize its impact and effectiveness.


If you think about it, a brand ambassador program is just an upgraded version of a referral program. Both of them are using your main force – your loyal customer base. So, make sure to channel your marketing efforts into the right sources; look for a prospective ambassador, apply our best practices, and then slowly expand.

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